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Open Access PreFlexMS: Predictable Flexible Molten Salts Solar Power Plants

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Predictability and flexibility are key enablers to increase CSP penetration in the energy mix by a) increasing dispatchability b) making CSP less/not reliant on subsidies c) supporting stable grid operation d) enabling operators to access new revenue streams (electricity trading, ancillary services). Today CSP plants with molten salt storage only partly achieve these objectives. Key enabling technologies to be demonstrated and introduced in the market are 1) design and operation of molten salt once-through steam generator – This will allow fully flexible plant operation; 2) design and implementation of integrated weather forecasting and dispatch optimization – This will allow optimal management of the energy storage to maximize revenues while respecting constraints/commitments (e.g. to the grid). Towards 1), an innovative design approach is proposed, integrating process and equipment design with dynamic simulation of the system. Proven technologies in separate fields (molten salt; once-through steam generator ; optimum control) will be for the first time integrated and demonstrated. Towards 2), different approaches to DNI forecasting (direct; mesoscale models) will be integrated to extend geographical coverage and improve reliability. Dispatch optimization under conditions of uncertainty (weather forecast) and perturbations (e.g. grid support requests) will be developed. Furthermore, automatic plant performance characterization by machine learning will be implemented to ensure a real optimum is achieved. For successful market introduction, a down-scale pilot will be realized. Here, integrated operation of once-through steam generator, weather forecast and dispatch optimization will be demonstrated. CSP will undergo large growth in developing markets, where grid constraints and market liberalization will play a role. Developing these key-enabling technologies will put European industries in the position to compete at the forefront in the market worldwide.
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Keywords: CSP; DISPATCH OPTIMIZATION; DISPATCHABILITY; EFFICIENT; ELECTRICITY; FLEXIBILITY; GRID; MOLTEN SALT; NUMERICAL WEATHER FORECASTING; PREDICTABILITY; RENEWABLE; SOLAR ENERGY; SOLAR RADIATION FORECAST; SOLAR THERMAL; STEAM GENERATOR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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